1 - WHO AM I?
"I sing of weapons and man...". OK, I know: there can only be one Virgil. But you can imagine how much the Lake Garda area owes to the great Latin poet, who mentions Benaco (the lake's ancient name) in both the Aeneid and, above all, in the Georgics. When I opened this residence, it was therefore natural for me to dedicate it to Virgil and give it his name. Because I also want to "sing stories".
Welcome to the Residence Virgilio.
My name is Cristina Zanardi, and from this introduction you may have understood that I am not just another concierge: not only do I love this area, where I live and was born, but I have got to know it so well that I am able to offer you a surprising holiday. A holiday you don't expect.
A tailor-made holiday on Lake Garda
Usually, when you arrive at a hotel, they show you the room, provide you with some brochures, give you essential information such as timetables and places to visit and goodbye. But if what you're looking for is not the usual hit-and-run holiday, but you want to return home richer in stories, knowledge and emotions than when you left, then you need a hospitality artisan.
I call myself that because I like to sew holidays onto my clients as if they were made-to-measure clothes.
The dress metaphor is not accidental, because before working in the hospitality industry I was a seamstress.
I studied accountancy, but my passion was making clothes. I started with ceremonial dresses, then I moved on to wedding dresses, but I always had the same goal: to make every woman feel unique. I wanted each of my clients to feel good in a dress made just for her. My working tools were not only needle, thread and scissors, but empathy and sensitivity to enter her soul, discover her most intimate and hidden desire and succeed in making her feel unique and hidden desires and give her something extra. Something unexpected (photos of my dresses and sketches hang in the flats).
Now I don't make dresses any more. What happened was that, at a certain point, my father was no longer able to manage the family business in the real estate sector and I was the only one in the house who had the technical management training to run it.
I had to roll up my sleeves. There were many things to decide, including how to enhance the value of two properties which, due to the crisis in the sector, could not be sold. A few years later, one became La Piccola Gardenia and the other Residence Virgilio.
But that passion and desire to surprise have remained intact. Even now, when I am in the hospitality business, I don't just offer my clients a place to sleep and spend a holiday, but an experience of life and knowledge that is always different because the people are different. I sing to them the beauty of these places.
Residence Virgilio between history, nature and culture
As you can imagine, fashion and tourism are not exactly the same thing. Managing a tourist facility professionally, even if it is not a hotel like a residence, requires specific knowledge that I did not have.
However, I was very clear about what I did not want my Residence Virgilio here in Toscolano Maderno to be: yet another tourist facility on Lake Garda like all the others, of which, once you return home, you are left with only a faded memory.
As Aesop would say, it's in my nature: I'm a dreamer, a passionate person, who doesn't stop at the superficiality of things and who throws her heart over the obstacle.
So, in order to complete the Toscolano Residence project in these terms, I started studying: courses on tourism; a master's degree in sustainable tourism; in-depth studies on the history of Lake Garda, its traditions and the specific features of the area, both in terms of nature and food and wine.
So today, four years later, I am able to pass on to clients like you the profound sense of "gardesanity" because I have a deep and deep-rooted bond with this area and because I know every corner and every element of its extraordinary history.
Territory, food, sport
If you are like me, when you travel you like to get to know as much as possible about the places you visit: learning about their customs and traditions; tasting their food; learning about their history and traditions; enjoying their highlights.
In short, you like to live an all-round experience to bring home not just a few beautiful photos but lasting emotions and having learned new things. My aim here at Residence Virgilio is precisely this: to make you return home having fully experienced the magnificence of this area and, perhaps, to make you feel a little happier and more fulfilled.
I offer you a total immersion in the life of Lake Garda, rich in history and culture; a journey into the typical food and wine of this area, with its unique wines and foods; intense days of nature and sport.
To welcome you you will find:
spacious and comfortable flats with breathtaking views of the lake
a storytelling of the area that no one else can offer you and that doesn't just give you the usual information but allows you to experience a holiday full of stimuli and emotions;
three bottles of the same number of typical Garda wines ready for you to taste
a small, family-run establishment that can offer you relaxation, privacy and peace of mind even when the lake is swamped with tourists in high season.
Staying at the Residence Virgilio means having beauty in your eyes 24 hours a day and looking forward to starting your day because, even if you find all the comforts and conveniences you expect in the flats, I will tickle your curiosity and your desire to know with anecdotes, stories and advice on places to visit and things to do that are never banal or obvious.
And if you are a lover of outdoor sports, you will be spoilt for choice here: ask me and I will give you the information you are looking for (not the information you can easily find in guides and websites, but information tailored to your needs and expectations).
For you, this will mean moments to remember and a holiday full of stimuli and emotions.
I look forward to seeing you